Author Archives: Thomas Ruttig

About Thomas Ruttig

Talking Pashto 2: 40 countries, two options

We continue our series of mini Pashto lessons, not with a poem or a proverb this time, but with a short and striking sentence I heard from a campaigner for one of the woman candidates in Paktia yesterday. ‘Da de tsalwexht pe sha-o-khwa hewaduna dwa lare lari: De edari fasad per zed mubareza – ya […]

2010 Elections 10: The Case of Ahmadkhel

Up in the mountains along the border between Paktia and Khost provinces, where proud and strong tribes live and Taleban and HIG fighters roam, lies the district of Ahmadkhel. It is named after one particular branch of the large Dzadzi tribe(*), funnily enough after the one which is smaller in number there. Another subtribe, the […]

2010 Elections 7: Gardez on E-Day

Warning: The following are just some impressions from a limited area of Afghanistan. No conclusion should be drawn from it about the ‘Afghan’ elections as a whole. On the other hand, because Gardez town with its three polling centres has relatively clear borders, we were able to observe ‘all’ of it and a few trends […]

2010 Elections 6: All Together Now: ‘This Is Not Switzerland’

This blog entry discusses the often heard proposition that ‘Afghanistan is not Switzerland’ and why it does not make sense when it comes to tomorrow’s parliamentary elections in Afghanistan. It argues that elections of a much better quality were indeed possible and recalls how this chance was squandered, by not implementing electoral reform as suggested […]

2010 Elections 4: Gardez déjà vu

In 2009, author Thomas Ruttig witnessed the presidential elections – and some of its irregularities – in Gardez, the provincial capital of Paktia in South-Eastern Afghanistan and tried to get a remote-view idea about what happened around it. So, it made sense to go here for the parliamentary elections, too, to check see what has […]

2010 Elections 2: Political Parties at the Fringes Again

Only five of Afghanistan’s 110 political parties have finally had the chance to field candidates in the upcoming parliamentary election under their party logo. Another 31 parties had candidates on a preliminary candidates’ list but later withdrew the party affiliation. Many political scientists would say parties are a key requirement for a functioning democracy, yet […]

Talking Dari (1): The Road to Turkestan

Today, we continue our little series with important Afghan-language expressions that are useful to describe political situations in striking accuracy. This time we turn to one of the most famous Iranian poets – so actually we also could say ‘Talking Farsi’ here. But let’s not be too nitty-gritty. ترسم نرسی به کعبه ای اعرابی کین ره […]

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